This is the sharing of my journey through discovery and recovery of my codependency.
One month before I discovered that I have been a co-dependent person during all my life and I am sharing this here, in public because I found out through sharing this subject with my best friends that unfortunately this is a very common issue in our society and that many people are living like this with a total unawareness that they are co-dependent people. Co-dependency and Narcissistic Personality Disorder in psychology is characterized as a disease and it’s rooted on our childhood, due to unhealthy parenting.
How I Discovered About My Co-Dependency
This discovery came up through the post I wrote about a month ago When We Go “The Extra Mile” on Giving, Serving and Smiling…Way Too Often! As I shared this post on Facebook, a colleague from the Yoga Teachers Course in 2009, wrote a comment and said: “That has a name: It’s codependency.”
I though Co-Dependency? What a hell is that?!? I stayed with the seed behind my ear and a week later I started my research on it and wow! It was overwhelming to read about all the patterns of behaviors of a co-dependent person and how I match there perfectly. I found it unbelievable that I lived 40 years of my life like that.
Then I went to research from where this comes from, how its created and I found out that its origin is in our childhood of being daughters or sons of one (or both) parents who have addiction with alcohol, drugs or have narcissistic personalities and abuse their kids.
In my specific case, my father had addiction with alcohol until the age of my 10 years and besides that, my both parents match perfectly in the descriptions of the mother and father with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I was raised in a quite unhealthy environment for a child to grow and develop her brain correctly about herself and the world around.
When I look back I can see that most of my professional and couple relationships involved people with drug dependency and narcissistic personalities in intimate relationships and narcissistic personalities in professional environments. And this is the general pattern that co-dependent people attract to their life’s.
The Characteristics Of Co-dependent People Are:
An exaggerated sense of responsibility for the actions of others
A tendency to confuse love and pity, with the tendency to love people they can pity and rescue
A tendency to do more than their share, all of the time
A tendency to become hurt when people don’t recognize their efforts
An unhealthy dependence on relationships. The co-dependent will do anything to hold on to a relationship; to avoid the feeling of abandonment
An extreme need for approval and recognition
A sense of guilt when asserting themselves
A compelling need to control others
Lack of trust in self and/or others
Fear of being abandoned or alone
Difficulty identifying feelings
Rigidity/difficulty adjusting to change
Problems with intimacy/boundaries
Difficulty making decisions
The Narcissistic Personality Disorder
In my research I found out that both co-dependent and narcissistic people were all children that grew up in unhealthy family environments where they didn’t receive the love, care and attention from both parents as every child deserve to receive or they were manipulated, emotionally and mentally tortured and abused in several different ways. In this circumstances their little brain while a child develops ways of surviving in such unhealthy environments. As they grow up, they are like little child’s in big adult bodies, as they did not got the chance to mature properly and as their patterns of behaviors and negative beliefs are created, they go through life and relationships dragging their childhood problems unconsciously and struggling in professional environments (bullying) as well as loving relationships, in fact, having no idea at all about what a healthy loving relationship is supposed to be.
A narcissistic personality can be developed for example in a child with two years where his mother had another baby and then, obviously most of her attention went to the new born baby, and if the father is not present to reinforce the love, care and attention to the two years child, this child find out ways later to drag attention and importance towards her/him, however, in a unhealthy way and develop the narcissistic personality. Can also be developed when it’s raised as the favorite son/daughter of the mother/father and be raised as a spoiled child.
People with narcissistic personality, as they grow up, they are seen by society and family in general as very good people, very respected and admired, they are very charming and manipulative and they only show their narcissistic traits in intimate relationships and/or to some employees (normally who are co-dependent and have no self-estimate or boundaries). Most people, family and friends don’t know this aspect of them, as they can dissimulate it very well.
My husband’s behaviors towards me and some of his employees match perfectly into the narcissistic personality description and in his case, for example his father was not present at all during his childhood and his mother had 3 children with 2 years difference between them. She have a very strict and tough personality as she had to raise 3 child’s without the presence or support of her husband, that was working in the middle east to earn money for the family, similar to many men’s here in South India, Kerala. Besides this, he is her favorite son and for obvious reasons he loves that, and at the age of 43, he is still dependent on her attention, care, and advice’s. They spend many hours together at a weekly and even daily basis exchanging ideas about his life. He does not make decisions by himself, he does them depending on his mothers opinion. So basically due to this and many other behaviours, he is still a child in a big adult body. I was behaving in the same way with my mother, telling her all my life and having no boundaries or autonomy of thinking and unconsciously letting her manipulate me and inclusive putting me against my father and my middle brother.
When I observe my professional relationships, today I can see this, that some of the direct superiors I had (most of them) they had narcissist personalities and I don’t have enough information about their childhood background, but I can tell that all of them they had a younger brother or sister a couple of years younger, which means that from their 2 years age, eventually their emotional needs were not met at the time when their little brain was developing which took them to develop the Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
The Characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) Are:
A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of Empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts as indicated by the Following:
Wanting to be admired
Having a sense of entitlement
Another characteristic typical of narcissists is a disregard of personal boundaries. Narcissists don’t always acknowledge the need for boundaries which is coupled with their failure to realize that others do not exist, just merely to meet their needs. A narcissist will often treat others, especially those that are close to him, as if they are there to fulfill his needs and expectations.
Signs of a Narcissistic Mother
She has to be the center of attention all the time. This is a defining feature of narcissism.
She will steal the spotlight or spoil any occasion if someone else is the center of attention.
She demeans, criticizes and makes derogatory remarks to you. She always lets you know that she thinks less of you than your siblings or other people. then uses against you.
She violates your boundaries. You feel like an extension of her. There is no privacy in your bathroom or bedroom; she regularly goes through your things to find information she then uses against you.
She favoritizes. Narcissistic mothers often have one child who is the golden child and another who is the scapegoat.
She undermines She will pick a fight with you or be especially critical and unpleasant just before you have to make a major effort.
Everything she does is deniable. Cruelties are couched in loving terms; aggressive acts are paraded as thoughtfulness.
She makes YOU look crazy. When you confront her with something she’s done, she’ll tell you that you have a very vivid imagination (common phrase that abusers use to invalidate your experience of their abuse) or that she has no idea what you are talking about.
She’s jealous. If you get something nice, she’ll take it from you, spoil it for you or get something the same or better for herself.
She’s a continuous liar. To you, she lies blatantly. To outsiders, she lies thoughtfully and in ways that can always be covered up.
She manipulates your emotions in order to ‘feed on your pain’. This behavior is so common among narcissistic mothers that they are often referred to as emotional vampires.
She is selfish and willful. She makes sure SHE has the best of everything and always has to have her way.
She is self-absorbed. Her feelings, needs and wants are Very Important and yours are irrelevant or insignificant.
She is almost absurdly defensive and extremely sensitive to criticism.
She terrorized you. Narcissists teach you to beware of their wrath. If you give her everything she wants, you might be spared; but if you don’t-the punishments WILL come.
She’s childish and petty; getting even with you is important to her.
She is aggressive and shameless. She doesn’t ask, she demands. She won’t take no for an answer-she will push, arm-twist, or otherwise manipulate or abuse you until you give in.
She “parentifies”. She sheds her parental responsibilities to the child as soon as she is able.
She is exploitative. She will go to any length to get things from others for nothing (work, money, objects)- including taking money out of her children account or even stealing their identities.
She projects. She will put her own poor behavior or character onto you so she can punish you. For example, you refuse an especially outlandish request of hers, she becomes enraged and furious at your refusal, then screams at you, talk about it after you’ve calmed down and aren’t hysterical.
She is never wrong about anything. She will never, ever genuinely apologize for anything she has done or said.She is not aware that other people have feelings. She will occasionally slip up in public, and because of her lack of sympathy, will say something so callous it causes disbelief in people.
The absence of empathy is another defining trait of narcissism and underlies most of the other signs that are on this list.
Signs Of A Narcissistic Father
He was self-centered and pretty vain. He had an inflated sense of self-importance that led him to believe he was superior and entitled to only the best.
He used people for his own good. He would take advantage of others, to the point of exploiting them when it suited him. Everybody seemed to cater to him, or at least he expected them to.
He was charismatic. Everyone wanted to be around him and he relished admiration from others. He loved being in the spotlight and the positive reinforcement that came from being the center of attention.
No one had an imagination like him. Grandiosity is alluring, and so were his fantasies of success, prestige, and brilliance. He would often exaggerate his achievements, and his ambitions and goals bordered on unrealistic.
He didn’t take criticism well. Nothing stung him like criticism; he often cut those people out of his life, or tried to hurt them.
His rage was truly scary. Some people get mad and yell a lot. Dad could hurt you with his anger. It cut to the bone.
He could be aloof and unsympathetic. Narcissists often have a hard time experiencing empathy; they often disregard and invalidate how others feel.
Of course, he was exquisitely sensitive to what he felt, but others were of no mind.
He wasn’t around a lot. He got a lot of gratification outside the family. Other fathers hung out with their families a lot more. Plus, he craved excitement and seemed to be more concerned by what others thought of him, rather than how his own kids felt about him.
He did what he wanted when dealing with you. Narcissists don’t step into someone else’s shoes very often. He did things with you that he enjoyed; maybe you did as well.
He wanted you to look great to his friends and colleagues. You were most important to him when he could brag about you; sad but true.
You couldn’t really get what you needed from him. Even if Dad provided on a material level, you felt deprived on a more subtle level. For example, you wanted his attention and affection, but would only get it sporadically, and only when it worked for him.
How a Narcissistic Father Can Hurt his Son or Daughter:
Narcissistic parents often damage their children. For example, they may disregard boundaries, manipulate their children by withholding affection (until they perform), and neglect to meet their children’s needs because their needs come first. Because image is so important to narcissists, they may demand perfection from their children. The child of a narcissist father can, in turn, feel a pressure ramp up their talents, looks, smarts or charisma. It can cost them if they fulfill their Dad’s wishes – and it can cost them if they fail. No winning here.
In general, here’s how a narcissistic father can affect a daughter or son:
Daughters of narcissistic fathers often describe feeling “unsatiated” when it to comes to getting what they needed from their fathers. They never got enough and would have to compete with siblings for time with Dad. As a young child, Dad would comment on how beautiful you were. But as you grew older, he would rarely miss out on commenting on weight and attitude. You probably carry these concerns into adulthood, even if you found success. With a Dad like this, it’s never enough. With men (or women), you often feel vulnerable and worried you’ll be dumped for someone else. Anxiously avoiding commitment or taking on the narcissistic role are both natural ways to keep relationships safe; it’s understandable and self-protective. (But, you lose.)
A daughter needs her dad’s adoration; it validates her and helps her internalize her specialness.
Healthy fathers give their girls that gift. You are special and deserve love, for being you.
As the son of a narcissistic father
You never feel that you can measure up. Dad was so competitive, that he even competed with you. (Or, didn’t pay attention to you one way or the other.) You may have accepted defeat – you never outdo your dad. Or, you may have worked hard to beat Dad at his own game just to get his attention and some semblance of fatherly pride. You somehow never feel good enough even when you do succeed, you still feel empty and second rate.
Just like girls need to be adored by their fathers to feel validated, boys also need their dad to believe in them. You may even become a narcissist yourself. This way you get Dad’s attention (after all imitation is the highest form of flattery); and you learn from your old man how to manipulate and use people.
Typical Relationships Of Co-Dependent People
The co-dependent people go through their life searching for relationships where they can heal or serve their partners in some level. This is because their were taught that they only have some value when they DO things and not just by existing. It was passed a message to them during childhood that their existence had no value at all. Most of the times, they end up in relationships with narcissistic people who abuse them in several ways. In a relationship it can happen different kinds of abuse, the mental and emotional, physical, sexual, economical, patrimonial, social and vicarious.
The commonly held definition of abuse is “a pattern of behavior used by one person to gain and maintain power and control over another.” One thing to note about that definition is that we are talking about a pattern of behavior, in other words, not just one incident. These behaviors can take on a number of different forms. Many people, when they hear the word “abuse,” think of physical violence. It’s important to note that physical force is one means of power and control and it is far from the only one. It’s often not the first one an abuser will use. Below are six different types of abuse:
This is the type of abuse that many people think of when they hear the word ‘abuse.’ It can include punching, hitting, slapping, kicking, strangling, or physically restraining a partner against their will. It can also include driving recklessly or invading someone’s physical space, and in any other way making someone feel physically unsafe.
While sexual abuse can be a form of physical abuse, we put it in a category by itself because it can include both physical and non-physical components. It can involve rape or other forced sexual acts, or withholding or using sex as a weapon. An abusive partner might also use sex as a means to judge their partner and assign a value – in other words, criticizing or saying that someone isn’t good enough at sex, OR that sex is the only thing they’re good for. Because sex can be so loaded with emotional and cultural implications, there are any number of ways that the feelings around it can be uniquely used for power and control. It wasn’t until 1993 that marital rape was illegal in all 50 states, so some people may still assume that sex is something a partner is entitled to, and not recognize it as a larger pattern of power and control.
As one survivor puts it, “My ex-husband used words like weapons; like shards of glass, cutting and slowly draining my life, until I had nearly none left. I didn’t think I was abused because he didn’t hit me- usually… I had begun to believe his awful lies- how worthless I was, how stupid, how ugly, and how no one would ever want me.” Other survivors have pointed out that while the signs of physical abuse might be noticeable to a friend or family member, the effects of verbal/emotional abuse are harder to spot, and harder to prove. Emotional scars can often take longer to heal.
Mental or psychological abuse happens when one partner, through a series of actions or words, wears away at the other’s sense of mental well-being and health. It often involves making the victim doubt their own sanity. We’ve heard stories of abusers deliberately moving car keys (and in one case, the whole car!) or a purse, dimming the lights, and flat-out denying that certain things had taken place. The result of this, especially over a sustained period of time – and often with the isolation that abusers also tend to use – is that the victim depends on the abuser more and more because they don’t trust their own judgment. They also hesitate to tell anyone about the abuse they’re experiencing, for fear they won’t be believed.
Because abuse is about power and control, an abuser will use any means necessary to maintain that control, and often that includes finances. Whether it is controlling all of the budgeting in the household and not letting the survivor have access to their own bank accounts or spending money, or opening credit cards and running up debts in the survivor’s name, or simply not letting the survivor have a job and earn their own money, this type of abuse is often a big reason why someone is unable to leave an abusive relationship. Many of the survivors have problems with their credit, because of an abuser’s past behavior. A bad credit history can affect your ability to get an apartment, a job, a car loan, and any number of other things necessary for self-sufficiency.
Cultural abuse happens when abusers use aspects of a victim’s particular cultural identity to inflict suffering, or as a means of control. Not letting someone observe the dietary or dress customs of their faith, using racial slurs, threatening to ‘out’ someone as LGBQ/T if their friends and family don’t know, or isolating someone who doesn’t speak the dominant language where they live – all of these are examples of cultural abuse.
The codependent people often fall on relationships where the partner is an addict to drugs or alcohol and /or have a narcissistic personality. All this happens at an unconscious level and the co-dependent person goes on trying to “fix” or heal the partner who is addicted and constantly giving excuses for his/her behaviour.
This answered perfectly to the question that I was doing to myself during the last one year about why most of the serious relationships I had (except one) they were addicted to smoking joints and drink alcohol. What happens often in this situation is that the co-dependent person ends up smoking tobacco, joints (or other drugs) or drinking alcohol with the partner for a feeling of union in the relationship and to suppress his/her emotions as well. This was exactly what happened to me and in some point I end up the relationship because that kind of life and relationship was not what I wanted for my life. Every time I was not in a relationship bond I never searched for joints to smoke, I did not felt the need and was not addicted to it at all. This only happened when I was in a relationship bond with a addicted person.
Breaking up and running away from relationships is easy but what about to recover from co-dependency while in a relationship with an addicted person or / and a narcissistic personality? This is the real challenge, especially if there are children involved, it must be given a time to observe if the relationship can be transformed at the same time if the two parts are willing to change, heal and transform themselves. Normally, people with narcissistic personalities think that they have nothing wrong with them and that there is nothing to fix, change or heal. They see themselves as perfect. Still, I believe that an opportunity and a time towards healing the relationship must be given.
Signs That You’re in a Relationship with a Narcissist
Conversation Hoarder: The narcissist loves to talk about him or herself, and doesn’t give you a chance to take part in a two-way conversation. You struggle to have your views and feelings heard. When you do get a word in, if it’s not in agreement with the narcissist, your comments are likely to be corrected, dismissed, or ignored.
Conversation Interrupter: While many people have the poor communication habit of interrupting others, the narcissist interrupts and quickly switches the focus back to himself. He shows little genuine interest in you.
Rule Breaker: The narcissist enjoys getting away with violating rules and social norms, such as cutting in line, chronic under-tipping, stealing office supplies, breaking multiple appointments, or disobeying traffic laws.
Boundary Violator: Shows wanton disregard for other people’s thoughts, feelings, possessions, and physical space. Oversteps and uses others without consideration or sensitivity. Borrows items or money without returning. Breaks promises and obligations repeatedly. Shows little remorse and blames the victim for one’s own lack of respect.
False Image Projection: Many narcissists like to do things to impress others by making themselves look good externally. This “trophy” complex can exhibit itself physically, romantically, sexually, socially, religiously, financially, materially, professionally, academically, or culturally. In these situations, the narcissist uses people, objects, status, and/or accomplishments to represent the self, substituting for the perceived, inadequate “real” self. These grandstanding “merit badges” are often exaggerated. The underlying message of this type of display is: “I’m better than you!” or “Look at how special I am—I’m worthy of everyone’s love, admiration, and acceptance!”
Entitlement: Narcissists often expect preferential treatment from others. They expect others to cater (often instantly) to their needs, without being considerate in return. In their mindset, the world revolves around them.
Charmer: Narcissists can be very charismatic and persuasive. When they’re interested in you (for their own gratification), they make you feel very special and wanted. However, once they lose interest in you (most likely after they’ve gotten what they want, or became bored), they may drop you without a second thought. A narcissist can be very engaging and sociable, as long as you’re fulfilling what he/she desires, and giving him/her all of your attention.
Grandiose Personality: Thinking of oneself as a hero or heroine, a prince or princess, or one of a kind special person. Some narcissists have an exaggerated sense of self-importance, believing that others cannot live or survive without his or her magnificent contributions.
Negative Emotions: Many narcissists enjoy spreading and arousing negative emotions to gain attention, feel powerful, and keep you insecure and off-balance. They are easily upset at any real or perceived slights or inattentiveness. They may throw a tantrum if you disagree with their views, or fail to meet their expectations. They are extremely sensitive to criticism, and typically respond with heated argument (fight) or cold detachment (flight). On the other hand, narcissists are often quick to judge, criticize, ridicule, and blame you. Some narcissists are emotionally abusive. By making you feel inferior, they boost their fragile ego, and feel better about themselves.
Manipulation – Using Others as an Extension of Self: Making decisions for others to suit one’s own needs. The narcissist may use his or her romantic partner, child, friend, or colleague to meet unreasonable self-serving needs, fulfill unrealized dreams, or cover up self-perceived inadequacies and flaws.
Another way narcissists manipulate is through guilt, such as proclaiming, “I’ve given you so much, and you’re so ungrateful,” or, “I’m a victim—you must help me or you’re not a good person.” They hijack your emotions, and beguile you to make unreasonable sacrifices.
The Different Stages On The Discovering Of The Co-Dependency Patterns
I could describe my journey on discovering my co-dependency during the last month has been like a diving into a deep dark well and digging deeper at each day. This well is me and my own life analysis and observation of my own wrong patterns of behavior, thinking and wrong beliefs.
Finding out of our co-dependency patterns takes us through different stages: unbelief, grieve, rage, revolt and re-discovering yourself and the things that make you happy (instead of living to meet all the others ones needs and make all the others ones happy).
Besides this, a hole restructuring naturally starts to happen in our brains, they start to be re-wired and re-educated to what is a correct and normal behaviour.
I can tell you that in one single month I already crossed all this stages and by this order.
Image Credits: Photographer Paulo Yang Model Sonia Indigo
When I started to research about co-dependency (there is so many information on the web because is such a common issue to many people), and I read about all that, I first was in a state of not believing that I lived 40 years of my life like this.
Image Credits: Photographer Paulo Yang Model Sonia Indigo
During this last month and especially during the first week, I cried lot, tears that came deep down from the well of my soul. This has been the grieving process, holding myself with my own harms and crying for all the years I let myself being abused in so many ways by other people and neglecting my own personal needs, as well as while a child and teenager not having enough defenses for the abuse that my both parents committed to me.
So many memories came up, from my childhood and from personal and professional relationships during my life. Memories of being emotionally abused living often under mental torture from other people, financially abused, giving away my precious time and energy for free and even during childhood, sexually molestation.
As I am living in a very different and traditional culture far away from my family and all my friends, this had been a quite lonely process. Fortunately we are living on the internet era which allows me to communicate on what’s app with the people that are really important in supporting me during this journey. I stop doing all by myself as I was doing until now and being the strong one who support the others and instead, now willing to uncover my vulnerability and need of support in such an important and fragile moment of my life as this one.
And this is what I can advise you if you are going through a co-dependency recovery and or depression, to not isolate yourself, because that is the natural tendency, but instead to put up the red flag and scream out for SOS. If you ask for help in a moment where you feel helpless, the help will certainly come. God always send Earth Angels, I can assure you this. He has sent them to me and will certainly send them to you too.
Image Credits: Photographer Paulo Yang Model Sonia Indigo
As we learn all what we can about co-dependency and get really well informed in all it’s aspects, we discover that we have been letting ourselves being abused in so many different ways in our professional and personal relationships. When we are aware of the patterns of behaviours of the abusers, (normally narcissistic people), we start to react with rage and revolt and start to say out loud our first NO’s.
For obvious reasons the rage is not the solution, however, is part of the process and it’s a stage that we go through during the process of healing our co-dependency, re-educating ourselves and learning to be assertive in a more grounded, peaceful and assertive way.
It’s really all about to LEARN TO SAY NO and looking after your needs first, respecting yourself instead before the other ones needs. Only when we are full and happy we can give to others. Until then we have to learn to fulfill our needs first and really is about learning to care and looking after ourselves.
4. Re-Discovering Yourself
Image Credits: Photographer Paulo Yang Model Sonia Indigo
This is the nicest stage which is connected to re-discovering the things that give you pleasure. Can be the most simple things, as well as childhood dreams that were not fulfilled.
For example I re-connected with my love for singing. When I was a child I was asked what I would like to do, I answered to sing. I use to write songs and sing them. The wife of my older brother at the time, who is a teacher advise my parents to put me in a school for learning music and singing, my parents said they could not afford and never gave any importance to it. Of course, their own dreams as wills were also never met by their own parents, and during their adult life they never allowed themselves to fulfill their dreams.
Between my 18 and my 28 years I was singing often in karaokes. I stooped singing over the last 12 years, except occasionally singing mantras and native indian chanting (which I also love).
Besides singing I reconnected with my love for animals. One of my wildest dreams is working with animals, specifically with wild life and mammals such as elephants, tigers, lions, all big cats, koalas, turtles, dolphins and so on. My dream is really to raise them and see them growing, using my healer abilities on them if necessary and having a close relationship with them.
So, this stage is all about re-connecting with the things that gives you pleasure and joy, it’s really about re-connecting with Your Joy, Your Happiness, without having to think in fulfilling the other ones needs. For the first time, is about fulfilling YOUR needs.
Recovery and Healing From Co-Dependency
Image Credits: Photographer Paulo Yang Model Sonia Indigo
After this stages comes the most important thing a co-depend person can do in all her/his own life: Going through all the work and practices that are needed in order to recover and heal from co-dependency.
Mindful meditation, yoga and reiki helps on this journey, of course, but, they are just tolls, just part of the healing process, however, they are not the real work in healing co-dependency.
The Most Important Things To Do On The Path Towards Healing Are:
Staying sober is of most importance here as we don’t want anymore escapes from your reality. Stay sober from any addictions that takes you out of your own reality such as food, sex, alcohol, drugs, tobacco, TV, social media, and workaholic patterns.
Stay connected with your feelings and emotions about yourself, others and your life.
Get informed all what you can on the web, books and videos about co-dependency. It’s absolutely vital that you get well informed so you are aware of your co-dependency behaviors, recognize people with abusive character and stop them in time, before you let yourself being abused.
Awareness is the key word and learning to stand for yourself and saying No whenever you don’t feel to do something for other person or whenever thing’s are not right or fair for you. The abuses often come from the ones who are more close to you.
Learn all what you can about assertiveness and learning to say NO when it’s inappropriate for you to do something, basically, when deep down in your core you don’t feel to do it.
Check your boundaries and make them clear for you and for all the other ones. Do not let anyone jump over your boundaries without your consentiment, and when I say anyone includes your mother, father, children, husband, boss, best friend and so on. Because the closest relationships are the ones who think they have the right and power over you.
Get some time alone every day, or every week and write a diary about how you feel and whatever comes up to you to write. This is very important to connect with your own feelings and emotions about you, others and your life in general.
Get a Psychotherapist
Find a psychotherapist specialized in Co-Dependency and go to regular consultations. They are professionals trained in psychology and specialized in co-dependency. They will give you a precious help and guidance on going through this process.
If you can not afford a psychotherapist, watch youtube videos , read books and all what you can from the web. There is excellent resources out there for free. There is really no excuse for not doing a mindful work in healing co-dependency because you can do it practically using free web resources.
I recommend this two professionals: Lisa A. Romano and Pia Mellody. You can find their articles, books and their YouTube videos.
Go Through the 12 Steps For Co-dependents.
Make Yourself Free For YOURSELF
Stop making yourself busy by being busy and get in touch with yourself. I realized that most of my life I was making myself busy all the time, always rushing in life from one situation towards the other, from one relationship towards the other, I had 7 serious relationships where we were living together (including the present one), 2 of them short (about 2 to 4 months), and 5 of them lasted between 2 to 6 years. As co-dependent people depend on other people to give them some value. I went from one job to the other one, during the last 22 years of my life I worked in 11 different places and different works. I moved from one house to other one (I moved house about 20 times since my 18 years) and not truly connecting with my real needs. Busy working extra hours, giving attention to my partners and fulfilling their needs, struggling in relationships, giving attention to my parents, to superiors, to clients, students, to pets…Basically, most of the time giving attention to everyone else but me.
I learn suppressing and compensating my emotions with addictions to food, sex, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, work and social media (phone addict).
All ways to stay disconnected from myself and with my reality. Absolutely and completely unaware of what the Real Issue was all about… Until Now.
Now it’s the Turning point. One more in my life. This one, maybe the most meaningful of all.
I leave you here an excellent video from Pia Mellody to know what this thing of codependency is all about. The video is 50 minutes and, I assure you, it’s really worth to watch.
As I learn all this, I feel as a little child in pre-school learning all over again about life. Society teach religion and moral to 11 years old kids in schools when what they should be teaching was THIS, so children know when they are being abused by their parents and society in general and can defend and stand up for themselves.
This society is rotten and it needs a hole massive destruction of the old distorted and selfish ways of thinking and acting, towards a more loving, respectful and caring towards the children, animals and the Planet.
If you feel that there is someone in your life that should read this article, please share it. It can be life changing for someone that is unaware of his/her co-dependency to go though this information. And as we live in a sick rotten society, I can assure you, there are so many people to be awaken from their dormant life’s.
Author: Sonia Indigo
Resources: Reachma.org, Emotional Intelligence Training, Psychology Today, The NarcissiticLife.com, SoberRecovery.com